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Ink attack on J-K MLA Rashid Engineer; two detained

J&Kr MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh's PC

New Delhi : A press conference by independent MLA from Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdul Rashid turned into an event of hooliganism with a handful of activists allegedly belonging to a right-wing organisation blackening his face with paint, ink and mobil oil protesting against his hosting a beef party in Srinagar earlier this month.

Rashid had called the presser at Press Club here to brief media on the attack on two truck drivers by a mob at Udhampur in Jammu region, on October nine. One of the victims–19- year -old Zahid–died at Safdurjung hospital here yesterday morning.

As he finished the press conference, Rashid, who is also known as ‘Engineer Rashid’, was held at the gate of the Press Club by some TV journalists for one-to-one interviews when some activists shouting slogans “gow mata ka apman, nahi sahega Hindustan (India will not tolerate any disrespect to cow)” pounced on him and painted him with black colour, mobil oil and blue ink.

Some of the TV journalists as well as policemen also received colours on their faces as well as clothes while trying to save the MLA from the mob.

Two people were detained by the police and whisked away to Parliament Street Police station while Rashid had to take refuge inside the Press Club till additional forces came in.

“They are mentally sick. I want the whole world to see this how these people are trying to muzzle the voice of Kashmiris,” Rashid, who was beaten by BJP MLAs in the state assembly for hosting the beef party, said after the attack.

Within minutes of the incident, there was widespread condemnation pouring in from the state with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed saying that the “spate in unpleasant incidents” is “most disturbing” and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressing concern saying that “this climate of intolerance and violence is very worrying.”

“Attack on Eng. Rashid is unacceptable & condemned in the strongest possible terms. This climate of intolerance & violence is very worrying,” Abdullah tweeted.

CPM MLA Mohd Yousuf Tarigami said the incident was “totally unacceptable”. “It (incident) was totally unacceptable and violation of people’s fundamental right to speak freely. Where are we heading?,” he asked.

Later, Rashid was taken out of the Press Club by police personnel. He sat on dharna outside Jammu and Kashmir house in Chanakyapuri, along with his few supporters, demanding to be allowed to go to the Prime Minister’s residence at Race Course Road.

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